GigaOm has a guest post by Robert Young that speaks to what I blogged about yesterday in "Harnessing the content flow." Young talks about how the flow is shifting from traditional media corporations to people-powered content communities:
Simply put, each and every URL should be viewed as a container for content that, in turn, can be distributed and redistributed. And the control of such distribution is increasingly in the hands of consumers, not corporations. For instance, if NBC.com puts up a video on their site and I points to the URL in a blog entry, I have exercised my influence over the distribution of that content. And if my blog post subsequently starts a huge viral redistribution of that URL to millions of other people, my control and influence over the distribution of that NBC video will have been at the expense of all other distribution outlets that are under the control of NBC. Therefore, when one is attempting to analyze the business model potential of Internet-based media, it is critical to understand the power and control any party may have over URLs. Consequently, the total share of the URLs under the control of consumers should also include all the outbound links that are included in the pages authored by users (whether they own the destination URL or not, users are controlling the traffic by posting hyperlinks and directing other users to them).
Looking out several years, it’s not too difficult to envision a media landscape where the majority of traditional media distribution outlets reliant on the benefits of natural monopoly economics have largely been replaced with a highly-fragmented layer of people-powered community-based distribution networks. As a case in point, I hardly ever go directly to the NY Times, LA Times, and the Wall Street Journal any more. Instead, I rely wholly on the authoritative blogs I rely on to filter out the articles of interest in those publications. In fact, the sites I prefer offer both an original voice as well as a consistently generous collection of outbound links to other related content, professionally produced or not. It’s just a matter time before I do the same with all my media consumption, including my audio and video needs.
Traditional media corporations won't roll over and die. The smart ones will apply themselves to facilitating, filtering and compensating the mass of content producers. And as Young says and I pointed to in my post, many new ventures will emerge that distribute and filter the content and at some point compensate contributors to the flow.